Cell Phone Network That Doesn’t Need Towers
The Serval Project has The Serval Project has demoed a mobile phone system that creates a mesh network with Wi-Fi enabled phones. a mobile system that creates a mesh network with Wi-Fi enabled phones.
- 15 july 2010
The Serval Project has demoed a mobile phone system that creates a mesh network with Wi-Fi enabled phones. The project, being developed by three Australian researchers, has two parts. The first is a series of self-organizing mobile towers that could be dropped by air during an emergency or natural disaster.
But the second part is a more permanent fix for areas without cellular communication infrastructure. It utilizes Wi-Fi enabled “Batphones” to rebroadcast their signal and create a cellular mesh network. The system is described as similar to how BitTorrent works in redistributing packets of information over Wi-Fi.
The team has also developed open source software called Distributed Numbering Architecture (DNA) that allows people to use their existing numbers through the system. This way, in an emergency, it will be easier for people to contact each other.
photo by The Australian Broadcast Corporation